Cheaper Than Cheap Tip Of The Week #4 : Earn Free Money By Reusing Bags At Grocery Stores

by The Happy Rock on March 5, 2008

“Cheaper Than Cheap” is a recurring tip series about frugality. The idea is to provide helpful frugality tips that border on fanatical to the point of being humorous. Love them or hate them, let’s hear what you think. Tip #3 was on separate your two ply toilet paper.

Cheaper Than Cheap Tip Of The Week #4 : Earn Free Money By Reusing Bags At Grocery Stores

reuse-grocery-bag.jpgThat’s right as the title suggests you can earn more than 10 times your investment with this one green earth friendly frugal tip. Bring your own bags to the grocery store. Most grocery stores will provide a refund that comes directly off your bill for each bag that reuse. I have seen the refund amount vary from 2 to 5 cents a bag. My regular grocery stores offer 5 cents a bag. Over the years we have built up quite a collection of canvas bags, so at this point all the refund money is pure profit.

Usually you can get decent quality bags for 1.00, so every trip after the first twenty would actually earn you free money!! It is a little more hassle and a behavioral change to remember the bags each time you go, but the idea of free money is definitely worth. If you by 5 bags for a $5.00 investment, those bags are paid off after just 20 trips. If the bags last another 5 years you could earn about $62.50 assuming you go to the store 50 times a year. That is a return of 1150% on your initial dollar investment in 5 years! We all wish we could get that kind of performance on any investment. If you reuse some of the thousands of plastic bags you already have laying around the house, you could be earning completely free money.

So do the earth a solid and save money at the same time, use reusable bags at grocery stores.


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Carol March 6, 2008 at 10:45 pm

I bought about 7 bags Albertsons for $1 and several at garage sales for my favorite price 25 cents. The bags have more than paid for themself. I have had a personal chuckle about this because I did it to save the landfill and here I am making a little money each time I shop.

Carol from Pueblo


Heidi July 1, 2008 at 12:53 pm

So where is there a store that pays you for your bags??!!! I live in Ohio and have never heard of such a thing.


The Happy Rock July 1, 2008 at 1:49 pm

@Hiedi – Whole Foods does it, and so do a few of my local grocery stores like Shop-Rite. I am not sure about Ohio, but I would just ask around. Hope that helps.


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